An annual report from High Fliers Research, a company specialising in the graduate recruitment market, shows there was an increase of graduate employment rates in the last year.
The data shows that the number of graduates hired by organisations in The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers list increased by 7.9 per cent in 2014, representing the largest growth in four years. Leading employers are also offering 8.1 per cent more entry-level vacancies in 2015 compared with 2014.
The Times Top 100, a list of the UK’s top graduate employers features organisations such as Asda and the NHS. A quarter of these companies have increased their graduate recruitment budgets, following a six per cent rise in applications.
As well as higher numbers of vacancies, average salaries are expected to reach an average of £30,000 in top companies for the second successive year. The largest salaries will be offered predominantly by law firms, and banking and finance organisations. Aldi offers the highest published graduate starting salary at £42,000, with the European Commission paying £41,500.
The report also indicated that that 31 per cent of vacancies will go to graduates who have already completed internships or work placements with the company.
Nearly half of recruiters said that those without any previous experience are “unlikely to be successful during the selection process and have little or no chance of receiving a job offer for their organisations’ graduate programmes”.
Employers are increasingly opening up opportunities to students and graduates through internships and work placements, with 80 per cent of top companies offering a combined 13,000 placements.
More employers now offer work experience places to first-year students, with over a quarter offering paid and two-fifths offering introductory courses, open days, and other taster experiences.
The five universities most targeted by leading graduate employers through networking, careers fairs and social media are Manchester, Nottingham, Warwick, Cambridge and Oxford. On this list, the University of York ranks twenty-first.